Anba Macarius, Bishop General of Minya, Upper Egypt, announced that the army would begin its project of rebuilding and restoring the churches burnt and destroyed by the Islamists last August following the downfall of the Mulim Brotherhood (MB) president Muhammad Mursi and the dispersal of his supporters’ sit-ins in Cairo. Mursi’s supporters had then waged a vicious attack against the Copts, who had supported his overthrow, plundering and burning some 80 churches and church-owned institutions including community centres, schools and orphanages; as well as more than 100 Coptic homes and businesses. The army had pledged to restore or rebuild the damaged churches, and had been examining the needs of these churches jointly with the Ministry of Housing and the Church officials.
According to Anba Macarius, the first to be restored and rebuild in Upper Egypt will be six in Minya region: the church of Amir Tadros (St Theodore) in Minya; St Joseph’s School in Mallawi; the Holy Family church in Maghagha as well as the Evangelical churches in Maghagha and Beni-Mazar, and Mar-Girgis (St George) church in Belhasa. In Sohag, Anba Macarius said, the Mar-Girgis church of Sohag bishopric will be restored; in Fayoum, the Amir Tadros church; and in Abnoub the churches of Anba Abanoub and Mar-Yuhanna.
8 November 2013